Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
The Buddha was born to dispel the
darkness of ignorance and to show to the world how to be free from
Buddha was the embodiment of all the virtues that He preached. During His
successful and eventful ministry of 45 years, He translated all His words
into actions. At no time did He ever show any human frailty or any base
passion. The Buddha's moral code is the most perfect the world has ever
For more than 25
centuries, millions of people have found inspiration and solace in His
Teaching. His greatness still shine today like a sun that outshines the
glow of lesser lights. His Teachings still beckon the weary pilgrim to the
security and peace of Nibbana. No other person has sacrificed so much of
his worldly comfort for the sake of suffering humanity.
The Buddha, was the first
religious leader in human history to admonish against animal sacrifice for
any reason and to appeal to people not to harm any living creature.
To the Buddha, religion
was not a bargain but a way to enlightenment. He did not want followers
with blind faith, He wanted followers who could think freely and wisely.
The entire human race has
been blessed with His presence.
There was never
an occasion when the Buddha expressed any unfriendliness towards a single
person. Not even to His opponents and worst enemies did the Buddha express
any unfriendliness. There were a few prejudiced minds who turned against
the Buddha and who tried to kill him, yet the Buddha never treated them as
enemies. The Buddha once said, 'As an elephant in the battle-field endures
the arrows that are shot into him, so will I endure the abuse and
unfriendly expressions of others.(Dhammapada. 320)
In the annals of history,
no man is recorded as having so consecrated himself to the welfare of all
living beings as did the Buddha. From the hour of His Enlightenment to the
end of His Life, he strove tirelessly to elevate mankind. He slept only
two hours a day. Though 25 centuries have gone since the passing away of
this great Teacher, His message of love and wisdom still exists in its
pristine purity. This message is still decisively influencing the
destinies of humanity. He was the most Compassionate One who illuminated
this world with loving-kindness.
After attaining Nibbana,
the Buddha left a deathless message that is still with us. Today we are
confronted by the terrible threat to world peace. At no time in the
history of the world is His message more needed than it is now.
The Buddha was born to
dispel the darkness of ignorance and to show the world how to get rid of
suffering and disease, decay and death and all the worries and miseries of
According to some beliefs,
a certain god will appear in this world from time to time to destroy
wicked people and to protect the good one. Buddha did not appear in this
world to destroy wicked people but to show them the correct path.
In the history
of the world until the Buddha's time, did we ever hear of any religious
teacher who was so filled with such all-absorbing sympathy and love for
suffering humanity as was the Buddha? At about the same time as the
Buddha, we heard of some wise men in Greece: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
and many others. But they were only philosophers and thinkers and seekers
after truth; they lacked any inspiring love for the suffering multitudes.
The Buddha's way
of saving mankind was to teach them how to find salvation. He was not
interested in alleviating a few chance cases of physical or mental
distress. He was more concerned with revealing a Path that all people
Let us take all
the great philosophers, psychologists, great thinkers, scientists,
rationalists, social workers, reformers and other religious teachers and
compare, with an unbiased mind, their greatness, virtues, services and
wisdom with the Buddha's virtues, compassion and Enlightenment. One can
understand where the Buddha stands amongst all those great people.
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